ETUDE HOUSE Play Nail Polish Review

I’m on a bit of a polish roll lately so I thought I’d write about another trio of nail enamels that recently burnt some pretty little holes in my wallet.

Etude House has a massive collection of polishes in their Play range of nail enamels – 130 colours in total – and today I am going to review my three Play polishes from their #101-#130 texture palette.

Play Polishes with Texture Play by Etude House

Play Polishes with Texture Play by Etude House

If my memory serves me right, these were RM19 each but I regret to inform that I have a built-in defence mechanism where I am prone to forget prices when I spend money on things that I want but don’t need.

(I assure you, this is unintentional but simply my brain’s way of keeping me sane and protected from my many crimes of spendthrift.)

In any case, here are the swatches…

  1. Play – #117
  2. Play – #101
  3. Play – #119
Play Swatches

Play Polish Swatches


PLAY #117

First up is a very ‘Valentinesy’ number in Polish #117. This enamel is a chunky mix of red foil hearts and matte pink ones in a mixture of pink and white confetti bits suspended in clear lacquer.

I spent a good five minutes painting each nail with this particular polish as my OCD tendencies required me to hunt down a specific number of hearts for each fingernail.

But due to their weight, the hearts had sunk to the bottom of the bottle and I had to keep turning the bottle upside down and shaking it in a futile effort to make them float up closer to the top and within the reach of the brush tip. It was so frustrating to get the balance right!

Further to this, there’s really not enough room on the average nail to showcase these relatively large hearts on a human finger. Tinier hearts would have fit and looked better.

So, I’m going to conclude that this is a polish that looks much better in theory than in practice. The pattern of bits is awesome as a swatch but looks just messy and out-of-season on my fingers because the heart cut outs are just too big to be practical and they tended to overlap each other on the nail unless I made a concerted effort to separate them.

Note to Etude House-: You really should have used smaller-sized hearts that would have been less prone to sinking to the bottle’s depths and infuriating me!

In a related but side note, Etude House collaborated with the folks at Disney late last year and produced some polish mixes with a similar concept to #117 but instead of hearts, there are Mickey Heads and Minnie Bows. These are adorable (but probably as frustating as the #117) and will certainly please the Mickey & Minnie fans among you. Here’s a link to Tulip at Kawaii Beauty Corner, who did a full summary post of the Etude House X Disney Collection, if you’re interested.

Incidentally, the #117 polish was an absolute horror to remove from the fingernails and I think that I may have actually sunk away half a bottle of polish remover trying to rid my nails of it.

Recommendation: Plenty of hearts but not for the faint-hearted. This is one polish that’s an exercise in patience and persistence to take off. Use #117 once a year if you must and only for Valentine’s Day or some 80’s Love Boat-themed revival night where kitsch is the dress code.

Etude House

#117 – The chunky Valentines-themed polish.


PLAY #101

Next up is Polish #101 and the most wearable of the trio.

This is a nice, safe glitter polish that is forgiving in the hands of the most amateur of manicurists (read: me!) because it is light-coloured.

In the swatch, the blueish glitter is more obvious but once painted on a fingernail, the gold flecks come more strongly to the fore; making the nails look really amazing in sunlight.

This is actually quite a sophisticated glitter polish that catches the light really nicely and offers a slightly more complex kaleidescope than most glitter polishes. It actually might be one of the prettiest clear glitter enamels I’ve come across. The swatch just doesn’t do it justice because this looks much more fantastic on the nails and makes me think of diamonds all day.

I can see myself re-purchasing this one as a staple. Love this!

Recommendation: Very pretty, likeable, easy to apply and universally flattering. #101 will make you feel like a million bucks.

Etude House

#101 – A sparkly blue & gold-based glittery polish


PLAY #119

Last but not least, I give you Polish #119. This little pink and purplish mix succeeds where the #117 fails. The glittery textured bits are just the right size with each other and therefore, equally balanced across the clear polish suspension.

A combination of dark pink foils with lighter pink foil pieces complement the little white flecks within the polish to end up with a happy little glitter polish that’s feminine, fun and carnival.

Recommendation: #119 will make you think your nails are having a birthday party. Not a bad thing at all – this is a happy and festive yet casual polish for the young or the young-at-heart.


#119 – The party in a bottle.

With the exception of chunky heart polish #117, because I only felt like applying that once, I’ve been getting lots of compliments when I wear the other two enamels.

These Etude polishes are very decent in terms of coverage and with a quality base and top coat, a single coat lasts me through the best part of a week. Being clear polish-based, they’re a cinch to apply and you’re likely to get plenty of admirers for your nails with any of the shades from #101-#130 well…because everything is better with glitter, don’t you think?

I have to say that I’m still a stranger to Etude House makeup products which can be somewhat pricey outside of their storewide promotion periods but I have enjoyed this first purchase.

Etude House is especially good at glitter and confetti-based enamels which I find tend to come in cuter, more fashion-forward and younger mixes than is available by some of the more established nail brands.

I also have no doubt that the Etude House Play range is comprehensive enough for some seriously colourful DIY nail art.


Here’s the full list of Play Polishes below in case you’re curious enough to go PLAY!



Etude House Play Collection #1-#100

Etude House Play Collection

[Image Credit: Etude House]

Etude House Official Website

Etude House Malaysia

Etude House Malaysia Facebook





  1. Awww… It’s really too bad that the hearts one was such a nightmare to apply and to remove (well, glitter polishes… meh XD). It looks so so pretty. >_< I'm still hoping to get my hands on some of those Mickey-shaped glitter from the Minnie collection. The pearly one looks sweet, and the pink+purple one looks a bit like one I got from Nicole by OPI, sans the white glitter pieces. 🙂
    Oh, and now I know how much of major glitter polish lover you are! 😀

  2. @ Laura, I’d say the heart polish would be fine for someone with more patience and less OCD inclinations but that person is just not me.

    I agree, The Etude House X Disney are eminently collectible. And yes, glitter polishes hit the spot for me. If I’ve had a bad/ slow day – out comes the sparkly polish to cheer me up.

  3. Totally agree that everything is better with glitter. It makes me feel happy & somewhat girly too.
    I’m liking all the colours especially Play #117 but you mentioned that it was hard to remove. Better skip & no purchase for I will be complaining non-stop while removing the enamel.
    There are times where I would just sink my whole finger into to nail polish remover, wait for it for dissolve by it’s own & rub off the excess if the nail polish is hard to remove.

  4. @ Nadia: it’s true, my love of glitter polish is only tempered by the incredible difficulty of removing it yet it remains my favourite type of enamel because you’re right, it makes us feel happy and girly and puts that little spring into our step. Surely, glitter is the sprinkle on the cake and the pixie dust that makes everything better. Someone needs to start a glitter appreciation society soon for we, the aficionados of sparkle *high fives Nadia*

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